a breaking down, wearing out, or sudden loss of ability to function efficiently, as of a machine.
a loss of mental or physical health; collapse.: Compare nervous breakdown.
an analysis or classification of something; division into parts, categories, processes, etc.
Electricity. an electric discharge passing through faulty insulation or other material used to separate circuits or passing between electrodes in a vacuum or gas-filled tube.
a noisy, lively folk dance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use breakdown in a sentence
Eggs, he says, are a good source of cysteine, an amino acid that helps the liver break down alcohol faster.
Given a choice, and not just a philosophical one, performers could break down modern day stigmas.Risky Business or None of Your Business? Gay XXX Films and the Condom Question | Aurora Snow | November 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
From the militia perspective, the Shia factions in Iraq break down as follows.The New Iraq War Could Be Won or Lost This Month by Baghdad Politics | Bartle Bull | October 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I hoped the U.S. government would break down every door in Baghdad to get me back.
It just was so much fun to break down the moments of that scene with her.Kerry Washington’s Favorite ‘Scandal’ Season 3 Moments | Kerry Washington | August 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted: I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
All her scheming and fencing would have availed her nothing if she were to break down at the critical moment.Dope | Sax Rohmer
Their heart is divided: now they shall perish: he shall break down their idols, he shall destroy their altars.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
With a great break-down of sobs, poor Chloe blubbered out, "S'pose I must."
I break down at every paragraph, I may observe; and lie here and sweat, till I can get one sentence wrung out after another.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) | Robert Louis Stevenson
British Dictionary definitions for break down
(intr) to cease to function; become ineffective: communications had broken down
to yield or cause to yield, esp to strong emotion or tears: she broke down in anguish
(tr) to crush or destroy
(intr) to have a nervous breakdown
to analyse or be subjected to analysis
to separate or cause to separate into simpler chemical elements; decompose
(tr) NZ to saw (a large log) into planks
break it down Australian and NZ informal
don't expect me to believe that; come off it
an act or instance of breaking down; collapse
short for nervous breakdown
an analysis or classification of something into its component parts: he prepared a breakdown of the report
the sudden electrical discharge through an insulator or between two electrodes in a vacuum or gas discharge tube
electrical engineering the sudden transition, dependent on the bias magnitude, from a high to a low dynamic resistance in a semiconductor device
a lively American country dance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with breakdown
Demolish, destroy, either physically or figuratively, as in The carpenters broke down the partition between the bedrooms, or The governor's speeches broke down the teachers' opposition to school reform. [Late 1300s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.